Useful advice for living in Shenzhen China

Moving to a foreign country is exciting, but for all the anticipation of a new life, it can also seem intimidating and daunting. I can help you with a variety of information using our listings and articles on but you’ll also need other help to live your best life. Here are some recommendations to help you thrive.

First Things First!

Save your Chinese address! Get a local friend or colleague to help you save your Chinese address in your phone – putting it in “Notes” or in your WeChat “Favorites” keeps it handy. You’ll need this to set up any delivery account, taxis, DiDi or forms. Once you’ve set up your bank account in China, set up your WeChat Wallet by linking your bank card to your WeChat account. You will never need cash again. I would also suggest setting up Alipay ( English version available)

Let’s Read Chinese (without a single lesson)!

Can’t read a menu or a sign? Need help with your haircut and they don’t speak English? There are apps for that! WeChat will help you communicate with people, find resources, and also translate for you. Click the top right three dots, Scan, then Translate. You can take a photo or click the small ‘photo’ icon to translate a photo in your album.

Baidu Translate is a photo translation app that you can also use for conversation. You can take a photo or translate one already in your photo album. Sometimes the Baidu translation comes out better than WeChat’s.

Let’s Get Around!

The Shenzhen metro system is one of the best in China; it’s efficient, covers throughout SZ and it’s cheap. There are many apps to be able to navigate the metro system.

I always used the Explore Shenzhen as it is the easiest to comprehend. It can be found on all APP stores and it is in English.

Didi used to be the popular English car hailing APP to use but now it’s not longer available in the APP store. However if you search ‘DIDIEng in the wechat search bar, it directs you to a mini program that is in English and allows you to book taxis.

HOTELS and flights and trains is an hotel/flight/train service that is all in English and totally accepted in China. It has an APP and and a website, it’s more expensive than it’s Chinese counterpart but if you want English its the sacrifice you have to make.

You can sign up to that here

Let’s Go Shopping!

There are many WeChat Official Accounts and Mini Programs where you’ll be able to get info about everything we will mention. To find them, open WeChat, go to the ‘Search’ bar at the top, and type in what you’re looking for. Many times, they are one word. For example: DiDi English in WeChat can be found as “didien” or GZ Rams is ‘gzrams”. Click “Search”, then click the icon that looks like a lopsided redstar for mini programs and official accounts.

You’ll hear a lot of people mention TaoBao, China’s most popular way to buy things. Foreigners have BaoPals, a WeChat and website ( store in multiple languages! It doesn’t have EVERY item as TaoBao, but most things you’re looking for.

You can sign up to baopals from here!

NoGoGo sells many imported foods. It’s a WeChat and online ( store. There is a minimum spending amount and most goods in general will arrive within 24-48 hours after being dispatched from the warehouse in Shenzhen.

You can sign up to Nogogo here

Sam’s Club is an international chain that you can shop at using their app, which you can change the language to in English. Just search Sam’s Club China in your app store. Membership is 260RMB.

Let’s Be Lazy!

WaiMai Meituan 
is one of China’s largest food delivery apps. It’s all in Chinese so you may need a local friend or colleague to help you set up your profile. For anything you don’t understand, take screenshots and translate the photos.

Shenzhen Eat/ Hot Duck

This is like the above takeaway APP but it is fully in English with English customer service. Very useful for those who do not speak Chinese. You can sign here here

scan to follow Shenzhen Eat

If you have a package to send, you can visit SF Express in English by their website, and you’ll need to register your account. Enter your information as the cosigner and then enter the receiver’s information. You can send multiple packages to multiple addresses and they come to your home to pick up the packages. Pay the shipping fees by WeChat and they’ll give you a tracking number.

Let’s Be Social!

InterNations is a global website,, which connects expats in cities around the world. You can add “friends” to communicate with each other and attend monthly networking events. Pay a small annual membership fee or join for free. Membership includes a discount for their events.

Internations Shenzhen

Wechat Events groups

There are many expat groups sharing events and meetups. I myself have several of my own. You can connect with me to join Connect with me

Example of wechat groups

Shenzhen Party

Website with lots of events and information about Shenzhen

and Thats Shenzhen also has some events on the website

Any issues or if you need some advice feel free to reach out and connect with me


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.